This is Gerson, age 7, after surgical repair of lacerating injury of left cornea.

Background on the Cause

The International Eye Foundation (IEF) best summarizes the problem with this statement; "A stable but inherently unjust equilibrium exists with eye care in developing countries causing exclusion, marginalization, or suffering of patients with eye disease and eye care providers who do not have the authority, autonomy, or resources to change the situation. Choices that patients have for eye care are an unaffordable private sector or an inherently inefficient and poor quality public system. Ophthalmologists' and optometrists' choices are to stay in an inefficient, unproductive, and non-autonomous system; move out into a strictly private practice; or leave the country because they are unaware of how to develop a social enterprise practice."

The IEF further states, "According to the World Health Organization 90% of the burgeoning rates of blindness (37 million blind and 124 million with low vision) are occurring in developing countries. This problem can only be addressed when the quality of eye care is raised to the level that patients will seek, accept, and for those who can afford, be willing to pay for."

Vision for the Poor and partners, most notably the International Eye Foundation, Optometry Giving Sight and SEVA, addresses the injustices in eye care in the developing world by funding the development of social service eye hospitals. Only by eliminating all barriers to access eye care by the poor can avoidable blindness be eliminated.

Vision for the Poor partner eye hospitals provide social service care whereby patients pay for services on a sliding scale based on their income. The very poor and children under 14 years old receive free care. A new Vision for the Poor eye hospital becomes self-supporting and sustainable within 2 years.

Vision for the Poor has helped build nine eye hospitals in Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru and Mexico. We hope to build 5 more before 2020. Can you help?


Vision for the Poor Executive Director receives Archbishop Oscar Romero Award

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Vision for the Poor 2017 Humanitarian Award Winner:

Frank B. Villa II OD

For extraordinary support to bringing the gift of sight to the people of Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Peru and Mexico.